Patent trolls are the scum of the technology world. Ask anybody and they will tell you the exact same thing. Frivolous lawsuits being brought against small companies in the hopes that they settle. Most of these patents don’t even have any relevance to the technology at hand. The latest attempt from a patent troll almost seems too stupid to be true.
A shell company going by the name of Silver State Intellectual Technologies, Inc. has brought a patent lawsuit against Foursquare. The patents in question are for the “System and method for user navigation” and “GPS publication application server.” In other words, these guys are suing Foursquare over GPS.
Of course, GPS is in everything these days, so why go after only Foursquare? Only the company controlling Silver State Intellectual Technologies knows for sure, but it’s odd that they’re only going after Foursquare. Other companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google rely heavily on GPS for their services. They may have their own GPS patents or license other patents, but it’s still a confusing choice nonetheless.
The ubiquity of GPS in today’s world makes this case odd nonetheless. This is just another reason to push for core technologies like GPS to be included in the basic technologies that all companies can license at an affordable cost. We probably won’t see any progress on patent laws until larger companies are forced to stop hiding behind shell companies for their patent litigation.
If you want to see how flimsy Silver State’s argument is, check out the court document below. It appears that they don’t even know how Foursquare is violating their patent, but that’s not going to stop the patent trolls.GigaOm]